Today is Equal Pay Day, the day on which we acknowledge that a woman would have to work a full fifteen months to earn what a man in an equivalent role makes in a year. Since the wage gap is 80 cents to the dollar—that is, a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar a male peer earns—it takes women until April 2 to earn what men make between January and December. Many women of color have to work even longer to catch up to both their white male and their white female peers.
However, a recent study suggests that we might have to push Equal Pay Day a few more months down the road. As Vox reports:
“The commonly used figure to describe the gender wage ratio—that a woman earns 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man—understates the pay inequality problem by leaving many women workers out of the picture,” authors Stephen J. Rose, a labor economist and fellow at the Urban Institute, and Heidi I. Hartmann, the founder of IWPR and an economist in residence at American University, argue in their report, titled “Still a Man’s Labor Market.”Specifically, it leaves out women who have dropped out of the labor force temporarily, often to care for family.